The Original Hemstrought Bakery Half-Moon Cookie

Kelly Lollman


In NYC and elsewhere, they are known as "Black and Whites" or "half-and-half's". President Obama dubbed them "Unity Cookies". In Germany, where they are iced with either the vanilla or chocolate fondant only, they are called "Amerikaners"... Here in Central New York, we call them Half-Moon cookies and they are slightly different - soft, moist and sweet... Whatever else you call them, "delicious" is something on which everyone can agree.

The bakery is now closed, but we can still buy them in stores. This is the original recipe shared by the owners years ago - scaled down. Enjoy!

★★★★★ 3 votes
30 (2 1/2 dozen cookies)
40 Min
40 Min


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3 3/4 c
all purpose flour
3/4 tsp
baking powder
2 tsp
baking soda
2 1/4 c
granulated sugar
1 c
butter, cubed
3/4 c
cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 tsp
2 large
1 tsp
pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 c


3 1/2 oz
bittersweet chocolate
3 1/2 oz
semi-sweet chocolate
1 Tbsp
4 1/3 c
confectioner's sugar
2 Tbsp
corn syrup
1 tsp
pure vanilla extract
1 pinch
1 c
boiling water


7 c
confectioners' sugar
1 c
butter, cubed, room temp
1/2 c
vegetable shortening
7 Tbsp
1 Tbsp
pure vanilla extract
1 pinch

How to Make The Original Hemstrought Bakery Half-Moon Cookie


  • 1Preheat oven to 350°.
  • 2Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • 3Put sugar, butter, cocoa and salt in bowl of mixer and beat on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and continue to beat. Add half the milk, then half the flour mixture, beating after each addition until smooth; repeat with remaining milk and flour mixture.
  • 4Spoon or pipe batter onto parchment-lined baking sheets, making 3'' rounds 2'' apart. Bake until cookies are set, about 12 minutes. Allow to cool, then remove from parchment.
  • 5Frosting - Chocolate: Melt chocolates and butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water over medium heat. Add confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, salt and 6 tbsp. boiling water - mix to a smooth, stiff paste with a rubber spatula. Thin icing with up to 8 tbsp. more boiling water. Icing should fall from a spoon in thick ribbons. Keep warm in a double boiler over low heat.
  • 6Frosting - Vanilla: Put sugar, butter, shortening, milk, vanilla and salt in a bowl. Beat on low speed to mix, then increase to medium and beat until light and fluffy.
  • 7Using a metal spatula, spread about 1 tbsp. of warm fudge icing on half of the flat side of each cookie. Spread the other half of each cookie with 1 heaping tbsp. vanilla icing.

Printable Recipe Card

About The Original Hemstrought Bakery Half-Moon Cookie

Course/Dish: Cookies
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: American
Hashtags: #frosted, #half, #moon

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